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October 26, 2021
Senior executives of four major fossil fuel companies are being probed by U.S. Democratic lawmakers over claims they promoted disinformation regarding climate change and their role in possibly having misled the public about their efforts to fight against climate change.
The companies include Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, BP USA, and Royal Dutch Shell Oil Co. These four companies, along with the heads of American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Chamber of Commerce (New York Times), were asked to appear in court to provide emails and documents.
House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney who sent the letters requesting the appearance of the heads of these companies and lobbying groups before a hearing stated, “I plan to get to the bottom of how fossil fuel companies have raked in trillions of dollars of profit at the expense of our planet and our health, all while spreading doubt and disinformation about the dangers of fossil fuels”.
A study from the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change was cited in the letters sent by Maloney and the Subcommittee on Environment chairman Ro Khanna, stating that “91 think tanks and advocacy organizations that downplayed global warming were funded by Exxon”. This coupled with a video that surfaced in which an Exxon lobbyist claimed the company’s public support for a carbon tax was a ruse.
At the same time, Democrats are actively seeking to pass climate measures in a massive budget reconciliation bill, which could increase costs of drilling and mining for fossil fuel companies (OANN). This inquiry hopes to uncover what role these fossil fuel companies may have played in undermining the effort of limiting the burning of fossil fuels to protect industry interests.
Most of the companies in question responded by affirming their commitment to working with Congress to enact solutions regarding the issue of climate change. BP said it was advocating for carbon pricing and methane regulation. Bethany Aronhalt from API said that the group “welcomes the opportunity to testify” and also expressed their commitment to “reliably producing American energy”.
Shell expressed similar interests and Chevron was in the process of reviewing the committee’s letter. inquiry hopes to uncover what role these fossil fuel companies may have played in undermining the effort of limiting the burning of fossil fuels to protect industry interests.
ARTICLE: BEBE BOUDREAU
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS